Public Transportation Safety Considerations
For major cities, a well-functioning public transportation system is a vital part of the fabric of the community. This is especially true for Las Vegas, which is among the most visited cities in the entire world. Each year, more than 43 million people come to Vegas. As most come without their vehicle, they plan to rely heavily on public transportation. Unfortunately, public transportation in our city is not always as safe as it should be. Negligence by employees and entities leads to far too many accidents. Whether you are travelling via the city’s buses or a private company like Uber, you need to keep safety in mind.
At Ladah Law Firm, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys are committed to working to improve safety in our region. If you were injured in any type of accident while taking public transportation in Clark County, Nevada, please contact our law firm today for immediate legal assistance. We will fight aggressively to hold the responsible parties fully accountable, so that you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Public Transportation in Las Vegas: The Risks
There are many different forms of public transportation available in Las Vegas, from well-known options like taxis to lesser known options such as trains and the monorail. The city’s public transportation system is constantly changing. In fact, there are now even self-driving buses in Vegas that are undergoing testing and beginning operations.
As a passenger, you need to be aware of the fact that each different type of public transportation comes with its own unique set of risks. Though, one thing is true with all forms of public transportation: Passengers are forced to put tremendous faith in the hands of public transit employees and companies.
Sadly, far too often, these entities, whether private companies or publicly run, fail to live up to their professional and legal obligations. They act negligently in violation of Nevada law and put the health and safety of their passengers at considerable risk. There are many different dangers that you need to watch out for when taking public transportation in Southern Nevada; some of the most common examples include:
- Negligent drivers: Driver negligence occurs in many different ways, from speeding and running red lights to distraction and even intoxication. Despite being professionals, unsafe commercial drivers abound on our roads.
- Poor hiring and training standards: Companies have a duty to ensure that their employees are up to the job. This means that companies need to hire qualified workers and properly train those workers. Yet sadly, that does not always happen.
- Inadequate vehicle or railway maintenance: Negligent maintenance is a huge problem with our public transportation system. Too many passengers are put at risk because proper inspection and repair does not happen.
- Lack of security personnel: As a passenger, you have a right to be protected from other dangerous passengers. Inadequate security procedures can lead to avoidable injuries.
Four Safety Tips You Need to Keep in Mind
- Plan Ahead: Know the Route
One of the best ways to stay safe when taking public transportation is to plan ahead. You should know where you are going and how exactly you are going to get there. Before leaving your home or hotel, be sure to double check your route.
- Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
When taking public transportation, please always stay alert. You should never sleep while on public transportation and you should not have your head buried in your smartphone. While the overwhelming majority of trips are completed without issue, you still need to keep an eye on your surroundings and your belongings.
- Sit Near the Driver
Did you know that the safest place to sit is closest to the driver? If you are taking a bus or train in Nevada, a small thing you can do to increase your safety is to sit near the front so that you are as close to the driver as is possible.
- Trust Your Instincts
Finally, it is always a good practice to trust your instincts. If you feel like something is wrong, it may be a good idea to take a different type of transportation. For example, if you do not trust a particular taxi driver, or bus operator, or if a vehicle looks to be in bad shape, do not hesitate to wait for another transportation option.
Three Tips for Avoiding Bus Accidents in Las Vegas
- Give a Bus Plenty of Space: Buses are large. Should a collision occur, it will be the car or pedestrian that sustains the overwhelming brunt of the impact. Drivers should always be sure to give buses more than enough space to operate. While bus drivers are supposed to undergo extensive safety training, crashes still happen. An experienced Las Vegas bus accident lawyer can help you deal with the aftermath of a collision.
- Be Aware that Buses Make Frequent Stops: The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) buses that operate in Las Vegas make a lot of stops. They may stop when you are not expecting it. When travelling near or behind an RTC bus, it is especially important that you keep your full attention on the road. Rear-ending a bus that makes an unanticipated stop could cause serious damage to your vehicle and a serious injury.
- Stay Out of the Blind Spots: In many cases, people or vehicles are hit by a bus in Las Vegas, at least in part, because they were in the blind sport of the bus. To be clear, a bus operator has a legal duty to check their blindspots to make sure that nothing is there. That being said, mistakes happen. It is always better to play it safe and stay out of the blindspots of large buses or commercial trucks.
Top Three Uber & Lyft Safety Tips in Las Vegas
Over the last few years, ridesharing services have become popular in Clark County and throughout Nevada — with the two most dominant ridesharing companies in Las Vegas being Uber and Lyft. Many people, especially younger people, prefer Uber and Lyft as their primary forms of transportation. While ridesharing companies can offer a cost-effective and convenient travel option, there have been some questions raised regarding the safety of these vehicles. When ordering an Uber or a Lyft in Las Vegas, please be sure to keep the following three safety tips in mind:
- Make Sure You Get in the Right Vehicle: Horrific stories have been reported in the news about ridesharing passengers getting into the wrong vehicle and being abducted by a criminal. Most often, the victims of these attacks are younger women. Though, it could happen to anybody. Remember, Uber vehicles and Lyft vehicles are not always well-marked from the outside. Double check the license plate before getting into a ridesharing car. Safety comes first.
- Always Wear a Seatbelt: An alarming number of Uber and Lyft passengers do not wear seat belts. Even people who typically buckle up in their own car sometimes forget to do so in an Uber or a Lyft. Crashes can happen at any time. By buckling up, you will greatly reduce your risk of being injured in an auto accident.
- End an Unsafe Ride Early: While most ridesharing drivers try to operate in a safe manner, there are, unfortunately, exceptions. You are not required to finish an unsafe trip. If you do not feel comfortable or safe in an Uber or a Lyft, you can always ask the driver to drop you off early. Nevada law allows ridesharing passengers to exit the vehicle when there is a safety issue.
Of course, even if you do everything right, there is still a risk that you could end up in a ridesharing crash. If you were injured in an accident, get professional medical attention right away. Next, be sure to report an Uber accident to the company or to report a Lyft accident to the company. Finally, do not give a statement to an insurance company without first speaking to a legal professional. A Las Vegas Uber accident lawyer or Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney will protect your rights.
Three Taxi Safety Tips for Riding in Las Vegas
Many people visiting Las Vegas travel around the city using taxi services. According to the Nevada Taxicab Authority, there are nearly 3,300 authorized taxis operating in the city of Las Vegas. Often, you will see cabs lined up to pick up passengers at major hotels, casinos or venues. Under Nevada law (NRS 706.041), taxicabs are common carriers and they are held to heightened safety standards. Unfortunately, taxi accidents still happen. If you are getting into a taxi in Las Vegas, please be sure to do the following three things:
- Share Your Trip Details: Unlike an Uber or a Lyft, a traditional Las Vegas taxi ride will not be documented on your phone. To be on the safe side, it is always a good idea to share your trip details with a trusted person when getting into an unfamiliar taxi. This way, someone will be able to make sure that you made it to your destination without experiencing any problems.
- Never Use a Taxi Without a Meter: If you are hailing a taxi in Las Vegas, be sure that you use a cab that is approved by state regulators. Under Nevada law, taxi cabs must have a working meter and taxi drivers must display their official taxi permit at all times. If you step into a cab and there is no meter, no permit, or something else seems to be “off”, you should find a different taxi. There are other transportation options available.
- Sit in the Backseat and Buckle Up: The safest place to sit in a taxi cab is in the backseat. When you get into the vehicle, be sure to buckle your seat belt. Like anyone else on the road, a taxi driver may be involved in a crash. Should an accident occur, a seat belt will dramatically reduce your risk of suffering a severe injury, or worse.
If you were involved in a taxi accident — whether as a passenger, a pedestrian, or another motorist — you should be prepared to take action to protect your health and your rights. If you want to know how you can get more information about hiring a taxi accident lawyer, we are available to help.
Rental Cars and Safety in Las Vegas
You may decide that you prefer driving yourself around instead of taking public transportation. For licensed drivers, our city offers a wide range of a rental car options. You can find rental cars in Las Vegas in virtually every corner of the city. When renting a vehicle, it is imperative that you take the appropriate safety precautions. Specifically, rental car drivers should:
- Make sure that they have adequate insurance coverage;
- Comprehensively inspect the vehicle while it is still on the lot;
- Take photographs of the car before leaving the rental agency;
- Get familiar with the interior of the vehicle; and
- Drive especially slowly and carefully when in a rental vehicle.
In the unfortunate event that you get into a serious collision in a rental vehicle, you need to know how to protect your health, safety, and legal rights. Injured motorists should always seek immediate medical attention. From there, an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer can help you pursue a claim.
Contact A Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney If You’ve Been In A Public Transportation Accident
The attorneys at Ladah Law Firm, have extensive experience with public transportation accident cases. If you were injured taking public transportation in Las Vegas, we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to call us today at (702) 252-0055 to set up a free review of your accident claim. From our office in the heart of Las Vegas, we represent victims throughout Clark County, Nevada, including in Green Valley, Boulder City, Whitney and Winchester.